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Hackensack Pilot Program Screens Patients for Obstructive Sleep Apnea at Home

CardiologyHackensack University Medical Center

What you need to know

Hackensack’s Department of Sleep Medicine and the Heart and Vascular Hospital implemented a first-of-its-kind initiative to screen patients with cardiovascular disease, including Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

A home sleep apnea test (HSAT) device called WatchPAT ™ tracks the patient’s heart rate, blood oxygen levels, air flow and breathing patterns while the patient is asleep in the comfort of their own home.

The program began earlier this year and is being piloted at two cardiology offices.

More information about the pilot

Patients thought to be at high-risk for sleep apnea are given WatchPAT to conduct a sleep test at home. Sleep study data is collected during the test and sent to CloudPAT™ Itamar’s secure server. Once the test is complete, a comprehensive report using WatchPAT’s True Sleep Time, Sleep Architecture and Central Plus algorithms is automatically generated and sent to the prescribing physician. 

Pilar Ortiz, an advanced practice nurse (APN) in Hackensack’s Department of Sleep Medicine, screens patients for sleep apnea by asking a series of questions about the patient’s sleep experience, daytime sleepiness and physical characteristics, including weight. This screening tool identifies people who are likely to have sleep apnea or who potentially may develop it, so that once identified, they are given the WatchPAT to take home and become educated on how to use it.

Once diagnosed, patients are sent to a primary care doctor or a sleep specialist to discuss available treatments.